From a dog trainers view a crate can be very useful and important safety device and can benefit dog and owners alike. A successfully crate trained dog will use it as a place of relaxation and comfort, rather than seeing the crate as a horrifying restriction.
If the crate is misused, it will turn into a cage and can cause severe behavioural problems.Successful crate training has many benefits:
It is important to select a crate which is appropriate for the size of your dog. The dog should be able to stand up, turn around and lay down in a comfortable way.
There are three common types of crates.
As they all have different benefits and there are so many different brands available we advise that you do your research and compare your selection wisely.
Crate training should be done with the aim to build a positive association with the crate, leaving the door open and make the crate as comfortable as possible. Place your dogs bedding, water and some toys or treats in it. Keep the crate in your home were the dog can still be part of your family, so that he does not feel isolated and lonely. Training sessions should be short and fun and spread throughout the day.
Use a lot of positive reinforcement whenever your dog chooses to be in the crate, like praise treats, toys etc. If your dog hesitates to go in the crate start feeding him in front of the crate moving gradually into the doorway and then lastly, in the crate. Alternative, use a toy or treats and throw them in the crate so its more like a game for your dog to walk in and out of the crate.
If your dogs feels comfortable to walk into the crate, start using a cue word like “crate” or “bed”. Through repletion your dog will get word association and will enjoy walking into the crate.
Finally, start working on duration in the crate, use feeding times, play times or a filled kong to make the dog to spend longer times in the crate. It is also a good idea to for short periods of time, while you are at home as well. Slowly increase the time and make sure that your dog feels always comfortable. If you are interested in crate training give me a call and I am happy to assist.
Have a Pawsitive day!